Melbourne Victory have done well in preparations for the start of the league, despite the seemingly lack of transfer business going on at the club. However, seeing as the latter is surely going to be fixed, Victory fans will be excited to see what their team can offer once the league has started, based on these performances.
Solid Pre-season for Victory
Goals- James Troisi 8
Kosta Barbarouses 70
Mitch Nicols 90
Their first game was a match behind closed doors against their own youth team, which was a good opening opportunity for new manager, Casimir Hunter, to get to know the squad he will be working with for the coming season, and try out some new tactics before the club’s tour of Australia. A win was earned as expected, with goals coming from wingers James Troisi, and Kosta Barbarouses, and a late third courtesy of centre mid, Mitch Nichols.
1 North Geelong Warriors- Melbourne Victory 3
Goals- Matthew Demo 88 Andrew Nabbout 20
James Troisi 24
Mark Milligan 90 +1
To begin the tour, Victory played the semi- professional side North Geelong Warriors, in a match which was expected to be a total whitewash for the side from the capital. This proved to be the case with goals from young striker Andrew Nabbout, talented winger James Troisi, and even one late on from defender Mark Milligan. The Warriors goal from Matthew Demo didn’t dampen the mood, as Victory left pleased with their day’s work.
0 Shepparton South- Melbourne Victory 1
Goals- Andrew Nabbout 13
A fairly drab friendly against another Australian lower league side took place at McEwen Reserve Stadium, with the only goal of the game coming through a swift counter attack, which eventually found its way to the feet of Nabbout who coolly tucked away one on one. Despite the low scoreline, Victory dominated all the stats, especially in the shooting department, where they had 28 shots, in comparison to the oppositions 7.
1 Fitzroy City- Melbourne Victory 1
Goals- Adam Gacesa 22 James Trosi 45
An encounter with a local side was a match to forget for the visitors, who despite playing better football, were unable to put away their chances, and came away with only a draw. Despite playing a second team, Victory were still expected to win, but a poor defensive showing made them go behind to a well-crafted goal from Fitzroy. They equalised through one of their star players, James Troisi, just before the break, and had several chances in the second half to win the game, but were unable to take them, and the match finished level.
0 Green Gully- Melbourne Victory 1
Goals- Kostas Barbarouses 19
The final friendly for Victory was against another local Melbourne side, namely Green Gully FC, who gave them a bit of a run for their money, providing a level match for the supporters to enjoy. However, after a fairly early goal from Kostas Barbarouses, they were not able to reply, and the match finished 1-0 to Victory, a result which will hopefully provide them with momentum going into the opening day of the season.
A solid set of games which will give us confidence leading into the start of the season, especially against Melbourne Heart, our first opposition, and also, one of our most fierce rivals. The team seemed to adapt to the tactics I used well, with the 4-5-1 seeming to be the most effective, and the one I will most likely be using as my main tactic during the season.
Player of the MonthThe player who I felt performed the best in the preseason was James Troisi, who managed to net himself 3 goals and several assists as a winger, and seemed to be the key link between our midfield and attack in all of our games, transitioning the play well.
In Other News…
PSG were the top spenders in the world, bringing in the likes of Ever Banega for roughly £25M and Koke for £12.75M, from Valencia and Atletico Madrid respectively.
Real Madrid were in a transition period, letting go off the likes of Sami Khedira and Fabio Coentrao, with the German heading to Manchester City for a fee of £20.5M, while the Portuguese player moved to Juventus for about £10.5M.
Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the European Super Cup, with Ramires firing home the decisive penalty in front of a crowd of 20,000 in Prague.